Proper Height for a Piano Bench

A standard piano bench height is around 20 inches, although different bench styles may be higher or lower.

Posture

Piano benches matched to pianos may vary in height depending on the piano type.Piano benches matched to pianos may vary in height depending on the piano type.
The proper height for a piano bench depends on the size of the player and will promote correct body posture and hand position while at the keyboard. Correct posture and hand position are critical in preventing piano-playing related injuries. An adjustable piano bench accommodates the needs of different piano players.

Proper posture prevents back and arm strain. Posture refers to how your body is aligned at the piano keyboard. Sit on the front half of the piano bench with your knees just beneath the keyboard. Your feet should be flat on the floor or on a box. Your back and neck should be straight. The bench should be far enough away from the keyboard that you can touch your elbows together in front of you.

Hand and Arm Position

A piano bench with the proper height allows your arms to hang freely from your shoulders. It also promotes parallel positioning of the forearms and hands to the keyboard and floor while playing. The hands should curve naturally over the keyboard, and the wrist should be loose without bending inward. Raised shoulders or elbows may indicate that the piano bench is too low and can cause tension in these joints.

Piano Bench Adjustment

An ergonomic piano bench can be adjusted to accommodate different players or a growing child. The padded part of the seat is raised or lowered by a hand wheel on either side of the bench. While these benches can be comfortable and solve posture and hand position problems, their can cost can range from $200 to over $1,000 as of 2011. Inexpensive alternatives include using a pillow on the bench or a platform under the bench to raise the player.

Preventing Injuries

Tendon damage caused by poor posture and hand position can be quite difficult to heal and may necessitate time away from the piano and other keyboard activities such as using a computer. An adjustable piano bench may prevent such injuries. Piano bench height, body posture and hand and arm position should be monitored on a regular basis to ensure that the piano player remains free from pain.

About the Author

Mary McNally has been writing and editing for over 13 years, including publications at Cornell University Press, Larson Publications and College Athletic Magazines. McNally also wrote and edited career and computer materials for Stanford University and Ithaca College. She holds a master's degree in career development from John F. Kennedy University and a bachelor's degree from Cornell University in counseling.